Question 1: Is your boy/girlfriend making you feel good about yourself?
Everybody in every relationship should be made to feel good about themselves. If this is not the case with your own relationship, then you need to tell your partner how you are feeling. It may be that you just lack communication within your relationship and they have no idea where they are going wrong.
Not every person possesses the same levels of caring, sharing, love and respect as each other. This is not due to something you have done (which I know a lot of you think the blame lies within yourself and you blame yourself… constantly!).
9 times out of 10 the reason for less positive attitudes of partners is other factors. One example is the way they were raised by their parents or the influences and habits from friends and others around them. Different people have certain levels of love inside of them, and over time, we realise they are not capable of loving the way we expect or need to be loved. So this is where the relationship tends to break down.
Talk to your partner, and if your partner is willing to take your feedback on board and is willing to work at putting your relationship back online, then at least you know your partner genuinely cares about how you feel.
Try this little exercise below which will give each of you the chance to see what the other truly thinks of each other’s good and bad points.
Each of you take a piece of paper. Draw a line down the centre of the page to make two columns. Give one side of the page the title Negatives and the other side of the page the title Positives. Make sure you both have separate sheets of paper. Write down on the positive side what it is you think is positive about your partner and the same with the negative side.
When each of you has finished, share your paper with your partner. This may be hard to swallow at first due to some negative things we may never have known about our self or never had brought to our attention until now. Taking feedback on board from others and listening to what they have to say will strengthen our character and let us know where we can improve.
Question 2: Do you receive good compliments from your partner?
We all need to be complimented in a relationship. Compliments boost our self-esteem. Hearing the nice compliments gives us the self-confidence we need that enables us to conquer whatever it is we desire.
If we receive bad compliments from our partner, then it can be very shattering to our self-confidence, leaving us with very low self-esteem. It can also put us at an all-time low where we don’t feel worthy of anything. It makes us feel that we could never accomplish anything we want to do.
In many relationships where one partner has insecurities of their own, they tend to drag the other partner down to make themselves feel just that little bit better. Certain comments made to us like “Isn’t it about time you lose weight!” or “You can’t go out dressed like that!” leave us feeling down about ourselves. The impact of these certain comments can be shattering to our feelings.
If you are in a relationship where your partner does tend to make bad comments to you then the exercise below will remind you of how many times they make them.
Take a little money box or piggy bank, or even a jar, (as long as it is not a see-through one). Each time your partner makes a bad comment about you, put a penny in the money box, continue to do this each time a bad comment is made and continue to do so for at least 21 days.
After 21 days, open the jar and take out the pennies you have put and count them. This will now show you how many times your partner made you feel bad about yourself in the past three weeks.
Quetion 3: Do you have to nag your partner to do something simple for you?
We all know that feeling of frustration when we ask somebody to do something for us and then we end up doing it by ourselves anyway. If you find this to be a recurring thing and are getting irritated by it daily, then you know that your partner has other higher priorities. This could then result in you nagging at them and causes arguments between the two of you. You may even adopt the “I will do everything!” attitude which could end in you wearing yourself out mentally, emotionally and physically.
Relationships are supposed to be 50/50 and if yours is 90/10 then you know something has to be done to rectify it before you either become a doormat or become so frustrated that you end up leaving the relationship completely.
When you are older and live with a partner, consider setting up a routine for all the jobs that will need to be completed, like the housework, bill paying, the gardening etc… After a while of sticking to this routine, you and your partner will form a new routine that in time will become like second nature to you both.
Question 4: Are you having a relationship with an adult or a child?
To explain what I mean by this, I will describe my previous relationship and then you can get an idea of what I am talking about. My previous partner lacked independence completely. Not only did I have to cook, clean the house, take care of the finances, but I would even have to bring in work for him when he was sick.
When it came to decorating our new home, I had to do it all myself. When it came to planning our wedding day, I had to do it all myself. When it came to him looking for a job, I had to look for him. When it came to insuring his car, I had to do it for him.
I am afraid there is nothing that can be changed with people like this. They have spent most of their lives latching on to people who will do everything for them, and they will continue to do so if you let them and if you continue to do it for them.
If you find yourself in a relationship where you are being the parent and having to do all of the work, consider running in the other direction.
Question 5: Does your partner put you down in front of others?
Unfortunately, there are some partners that feel very empowered when they put you down in front of other people. This is a sign of their own insecurities. If you let this continue over time, your self-confidence will slowly be chipped away. A supportive and loving partner would not put you down or try to destroy your confidence, they would try to make you feel a thousand times more confident than you already are.
Write a letter to your partner and explain how your partner is making you feel. Then leave it in a place for your partner to find so that they can read it. Often, people don’t listen to what you have to say, but reading it in words triggers the realisation of what they are actually doing. Don’t hold back on how you’re feeling. Put everything down in words. If you do become emotional while writing, then this is good. This is your true emotion talking and your true feelings coming from deep within your heart.
Question 6: Are you allowed to be you?
You know you have a fantastic relationship when your partner supports 1000% in everything you do. They never hold you back from anything you want to do and nor do they judge you for it. They simply let YOU be YOU.
Every person on the planet has the right to do exactly what they want to do and when they want to do it. If your partner complains about the way you dress or tells you not to wear makeup or not to do something with your friends, then this is completely wrong. If they hold you back from doing what you love, be it a career or stopping you from following your dreams, then this is wrong also.
A relationship should be one long, happy, successful journey through time where each partner loves, honours and respects each other’s wishes. You should be able to have your own individual life as well as having your life together. Respect is a two way street in a relationship and you have to give just as much as you take from that person.
Question 7: Do you and your partner connect intimately?
A lot of couples would argue that sex isn’t a big issue in their relationship. This all depends on your own opinion and what you are actually ready for at your age. Don’t let your partner rush you. Personally, I think it’s a massive issue that both sides should feel fully relaxed and respected in every aspect of it.
A lot of people will grow up with the influence of their parents telling them what sex and intimacy is and what it isn’t. Forget what everyone else told you and decide for yourself what it is that YOU like and YOU want.
If you and your partner have great communication within your relationship, then tell each other your wants and desires. This could completely turn your life around and bring you and your partner so much closer together.
Never feel like you have to have sex with somebody to keep them! That’s so wrong! Communication is the key! And if they are not willing to listen, then they are not worth it.
The key to a successful and loving relationship is complete honesty, respect and communication. These three things are vital to keeping the journey of your relationship a happy and fulfilling one. It will make your relationship a pleasure and not a chore.
A lot of people are trapped in relationships that they are completely unhappy with and exist in denial. The problem truly lies within the foundations of the relationship. I hold my hands up and agree I have been guilty of this in the past myself.
I also know that a lot of you who aren’t happy can’t see a way out and fear that leaving a bad relationship will mean “going it alone” and YES, it is scary to leave a relationship that you are not happy in, and YES it is tough to do so…. BUT, this is only a short process you will go through. This then builds strength into your character and makes you become a stronger person. And if you were in a bad relationship, leaving also leaves you with the strength that you know you will never tolerate the same treatment in any future relationship you have.
If you are in a controlling or violent relationship, then these are often the hardest relationships to leave and it’s up to you to gain the strength to leave that person. It also means letting go of the denial and excuse making that you have told yourself over and over again. I know myself how lonely it can be to be suffering in a relationship that is not good for you.
Please remember that life is not a dress rehearsal and we are only here once. We can’t come back for another shot.
So give yourself the respect you deserve and ask yourself,…… Am I really happy in this relationship?
About the Author: Kate GARDNER is one of Your Monthly Mentors, a #1 International Best-Selling Author, Editor in Chief of The Missing Piece Magazine, and Publisher of the International Best-Selling Book Series The Missing Piece. As a coach, Kate helps business owners grow their platforms by teaching them how to publish, market and sell their books to international best-seller status. Kate has had the honor and pleasure of consulting TV personalities and award-winning Hollywood film directors. Read more…